The application period is underway for the federal relief funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Congress passed a second round of relief funding for PPP in December. The program allows applicants to receive forgivable loans to help businesses keep staff employed during the pandemic.

It consists of:

· First Draw PPP Loans for first time program applicants, and

· Second Draw PPP Loans for certain businesses who have previously received a PPP loan.

As part of the program, applicants must work through a qualified lender to process the application. You can find an array of information about PPP on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website.

Some owners have been challenged to find qualified lenders or those willing to process their PPP applications. To help with finding qualified local lenders, the Spokane chapter of thev Washington Hospitality Association has gathered resources to help you through the process.

· has compiled a list of Washington state lenders, including whether they are accepting new clients and provide services in multiple languages. To see the list, click here.

· The Treasury Department has a searchable spreadsheet of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) allows you to filter by state, city and zip code for qualified lenders in your area. Find the list and download the spreadsheet on this page.

· The SBA has Lender Match, a free online tool that connects small businesses with SBA-approved lenders. To see the Lender Match, click here.

Employee Retention Tax (ERC) Credit You may also be applying for the Employee Retention Tax Credit . This program is a refundable credit for up to $14,000 per employee for Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2021. The credit also existed in 2020, with slightly different rules. Companies are also eligible for this credit even if they receive a PPP second draw loan.